Message from the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

It is my great honour and pleasure to present Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious $40-billion plan to help ensure that Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.

Bringing this Strategy to life has been a priority for the Government of Canada for the past 18 months. We are making historic investments in housing – and planning for transformational change – because we understand the value of home. Safe, affordable housing is a launch-pad for better socio-economic outcomes for our citizens, a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to be well and to succeed, a stronger economy and a cleaner environment.

But for too many Canadian families, a decent home is simply not affordable. Across Canada, 1.7 million people are in housing need, living in homes that are inadequate or unaffordable. Another 25,000 Canadians are chronically homeless. This needs to change.

Building on investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017, the NHS signals a meaningful re-engagement by the federal government in housing. It is a key element of our Government’s plan to help strengthen the middle class, promote growth for everyone, and lift more Canadians out of poverty.

Important learnings emerged from last year’s Let’s Talk Housing consultations, and our Strategy is stronger for it. Now the work of implementing these ideas begins.

To be successful, the NHS requires the collaboration and commitment of more partners than ever before, in a coherent, integrated and whole-of-government approach. The provinces and territories will, of course, be primary partners in the Strategy, but we will also work more closely with municipalities, the private and non-profit sectors, and others who share our goal of creating a new generation of housing in Canada.

We have set clear goals for the NHS, including removing 530,000 Canadian families from housing need and reducing chronic homelessness by half over the next decade. We will track and report on our success, and adapt our approach as needed as the Strategy unfolds. Our primary focus will be on meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, such as women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans and young adults.

The release of the NHS marks the beginning of a new era for housing in Canada. We have a Strategy that all Canadians can be proud of and support. I encourage you to become part of this nation-wide effort to ensure that all Canadians have the safe and affordable housing they need and deserve.

The Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos

taken from the National Housing Strategy